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Archive for ‘Technology’

Google Fast Flip

click image to enlarge

A couple of weeks ago Google Labs released Fast Flip, a way of browsing news stories from mainly print media. About 40 newspapers and magazines have partnered with Google, which then provides you with images of their news stories. (The images are in PNG format, so you can’t copy the text as you might with some PDFs.) Thumbnail images of pages are presented in four rows, which filter, respectively, for “recent,” “sources,” “sections,” or “topics.” Helpfully, there’s a headline below each image to let you decide where you’d like to jump into the stream. Once . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology, Technology: Internet

RECAP: Crowdsourcing U.S. Federal Court Transparency

Back in July I talked about a petition urging to improve PACER, the online access service to U.S. court records and documents. Until improvements are made, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard have stepped in to provide a tool to give open access to court documents that originate on PACER in cooperation with the Internet Archive. The video below is a presentation by Steve Schultze, fellow of the Berkman Center and new Associate Director at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy at the September 8, 2009 conference Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase explaining how the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology

Google Ordered to Close Email Account

There’s something of a buzz in the blawgs about a recent decision from the California Northern District Court in which the court ordered Google to close the email account of a non-party. According to Online Daily Media, in Rocky Mountain Bank -v- Google, Inc. the bank explained that it had sent a file containing a wealth of sensitive information about clients by email to the wrong Gmail address. The bank tried to contact the addressee but received no response. It then got in touch with Google, which said that it would reveal the account information for the addressee if . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Socialnomics Video

At lunch today, Joe Altonji of Hildebrandt in Chicago screened a neat four minute viral video which is well worth a view.

Here it is

And Merrilyn Astin Tarlton suggests that this one if fun too, and this one too, for those of us who are typography buffs. Be patient while it loads.

Joe’s viral video is by the author of this book:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Substitutional Service via Facebook in Alberta

Ah, the unreported judgment…or in this case Order. Sometimes, interesting tidbits come out of discussions that flow to my ears via conversations from our lunchroom.

The walls of the Harvey A. Bodner Q.C. Lounge, named after one of my favourite former bosses, recently absorbed a conversation regarding a Masters order that an student-at-law heard about in passing from a professor regarding an order for substitutional service via Facebook.

The rumour made its way to me and thanks to the great memory of many individuals, including Professor Billingsley who supplied me with an action number, and our students who never complain . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Metatag Suits Should Now Be Dropped

Although SEO specialists have long denied that metatags matter, there have been lawsuits over them for a number of reasons, including trademark infringement, attempt to divert business, and even defamation.

Dany Sullivan of Search Engine Watch outlines some of the major American suits over metatags.

Google’s Matt Cutt publicly confirmed yesterday for the first time that their search algorithm does ignore metatags. See the video here.

Eric Goldman of Santa Clara Law says,

Although occasionally judges have gotten it right (see, e.g., Standard Process v. Banks). most courts still treat the presence of a third party trademark in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Proving an Email

I find it a little puzzling that when it comes to proving emails there isn’t more fuss and bother than there appears to be. Doubtless I’m missing things that Slaw readers, particularly the e-discovery folks, perhaps, will point out to me. But it strikes me that the very thing making email so wonderfully convenient is also likely to make it difficult to prove an email in a court of law. I’m referring, of course, to email’s etherial nature: the fact that an email exists both everywhere and nowhere in particular.

Unlike a printed letter, which has an actual, physical, unique . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Toronto: From 43 Bylaws to One

The City of Toronto currently operates under 43 bylaws inherited from the various municipalities that were amalgamated to make up the existing City. Work started in 2003 to rework the bylaws, and today they are working towards one proposed draft zoning bylaw. Public consultations have been taking place, with the last one coming up this Thursday in the North York Civic Centre Council Chamber. A report on the public consultation will be made at the November 4th Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting. As well, over 500 stakeholder groups have been identified. They hope for completion and adoption of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Canadian Law Profs Gaining Persuasive Authority

A new site launched less than a month ago was brought to my attention recently. Persuasive Authorities is a blog by faculty at various American law schools. But it was the Canadian contributors that I’ve encountered previously that really caught my attention.

I know Richard Albert of Boston College through political activities in Canada. With an impressive resume that includes law degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Oxford, he also clerked in the Supreme Court of Canada. His latest post on the site is about his first class at Harvard, where Duncan Kennedy described how law travelled around the world.

Comparative . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Social Media ‘A-Lists’

I’ve been thinking lately about our ability to filter down social media messaging, and the process of building ‘A-lists’. Not a list of popular people in social media, but rather, a personal ‘A-List’ — your inner circle. The goal being closer tracking of the people that you get the most value from.

One of the biggest drawbacks of engaging these tools is the raw number of follow requests. It’s almost impossible, for example, to keep track of hundreds (or thousands) of followers on twitter without using tweetdeck or another tool to group your contacts. Filtering follow lists like this, remains . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Google and Espresso: Returning to Print

Google today announced its partnership with On Demand Books, developers of the Espresso Book Machine, which can “perfect bind” a copy of a book printed on an attached copier in about three minutes, at a cost of one cent per page. (The press release [PDF] from On Demand Books is somewhat more detailed.)

This video shows the machine in action:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Technology, Technology: Internet

Refinement on Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms

Colleague Katharine Thompson has shown me how to add “refinements” to my Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms.

A search on “wallace” (admittedly not a very sophisticated search if looking for law firm bulletin case comments on Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701) results in a number of hits on the bio’s of lawyers named Wallace.

However, with the prior search results on “wallace”, if you click on the new “Bulletins” refinement button we have added, you generate much better search results of mainly law firm bulletins on the S.C.C. decision in question . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet